Tiny Magnetic Pets: "Spaced"


By George Bass | 13 July 2009

Bands named after toys—can that one work? It might not be as colourful as the film named after toys (that’s Toys [1992], by the way), but it at least means the first slide will read Item 1: Fun when they set out their pitch for production. And the Tiny Magnetic Pets have got some impressive credentials to pitch with: Seán Quinn is hotly tipped to win Ulrich Schnauss Idol 2009, already having had his Skylines debut licensed by airlines, ski shows, and films about Nelson Mandela, while vocalist Paula Gilmer is the rock-god daughter of the Prodigy, still black and blue from jamming with Keith whenever his release form gets cleared by the Home Office. Perhaps disappointingly, Gilmer and Quinn’s hookup as the TMP occurs amicably at exactly midway: angelic electronica + diva vocals + stone-set philosophy to only use Moogs and mellotron = priceless robot pop. If you were expecting some bizarre fusion reaction where both elements erupt and move into world music, you can secure that shit right there. A + B + C = D, OK?

Still, does any of this mean that the Tiny Magnetic Pets are in any way secretly dull? No. Danceable? Yes. Capable of producing meek enough beats to get picked for an Ashes to Ashes outro? Very possibly. The cut here, “Spaced,” is the penultimate track on their Return of the Tiny Magnetic Pets debut CD, and upon listening you can see why they didn’t want it lost between volumes E-K. Its “Enola Gay” drum line and old Amiga synths make for some nicely laid-back Euro pop, dark little keyboards in the background, but when Gilmer kicks in with that chorus of hers…sheesh, what a lovely sulky rush you get; the kind last seen when Depeche Mode were still aloft on powders and Conservatism. She even brings you down nicely too, her droll monotone for the verses giving us the reverbed “Last night I dreamt I saw your face / You were spaced out in a café drinking coffee”—possible reference to the meeting of the two leads in the sitcom they stole the name from, maybe? “Spaced” is still a deeply enjoyable little ditty, and one that you might just find yourself humming when you slope off alone from the party. Before going home to your solitary cat. Which is magnetic.